APPLETON, Wis. – The No. 7 Salisbury University baseball team is set to make its fourth appearance in the Division III College World Series and will face a familiar foe in the opening contest. The Sea Gulls are paired with No. 5 State University of New York at Cortland, a team they faced twice at the beginning of the season. The two teams split a weekend two-game series and the third matchup of the season is set for Friday, May 23 at 5:30 p.m., Eastern time.
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How we got here
Salisbury (37-7) earned its bid to the NCAA tournament by capturing the Capital Athletic Conference tournament championship. The Sea Gulls went undefeated in the Marietta, Ohio regional, capturing the regional crown with a 3-2 win over No. 20 Case Western Reserve University on Monday for its fourth bid to the College World Series.
How they got here
Cortland captured the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) tournament championship for its automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Red Dragons alternated between one-run and decisive victories to capture the Ithaca, N.Y., regional championship, booking the program's 12th trip to the Division III College World Series.
Earlier this year
On Saturday, February 22, the Sea Gulls welcomed Cortland to the SU Baseball Field for a two-game series that finished the following day.
Salisbury took the opener on Saturday, 12-5, on the back of strong performances by juniors Dan Fein and Bobby Sanzone. Fein went seven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and striking out six. Sanzone had a game-high three hits, and junior Jordan Gowe and senior Ken O'Neill each drove in a pair of runs.
On Sunday, the Red Dragons would come out on top, 4-1, with starter Brandon McClain tossing six shutout innings and surrendering three hits. Freshman Pete Grasso picked up two of the six Sea Gull hits in the contest. Junior Dylan Anderson had a strong start for Salisbury, allowing three runs, two earned, on three hits in six innings, while striking out seven.
The table setter…
Junior Kyle Hayman has been a force in the leadoff spot all season for Head Coach Doug Fleetwood. The right fielder leads the team with a .425 average this season. Currently, that mark is the ninth-best season average in program history. The Wilmington, Del., product has scored a team-high 55 runs and leads the squad with 28 stolen bases. Each of those totals rank Hayman in the top 30 among Division III players.
… and the Producer
Senior Quinn Griffith comes into the College World Series with a 12-game hitting streak and was on a tear during the Marietta, Ohio regional. The Federalsburg, Md., native went 9-for-16 at the dish with five RBIs, including a two-run home run in Salisbury's first matchup against Case Western Reserve on Saturday. For his efforts, Griffith was named the Most Outstanding Player of the regional tournament.
For the season, Griffith is hitting .404 with 34 RBIs, good for second and fourth on the team, respectively. The senior is getting on base at a .512 clip, tops on the squad, having drawn a team-leading 32 walks. Griffith is tied for the team lead with three homeruns and has seven doubles this season.
The Sea Gulls will either play the University of Southern Maine or the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the next round on Saturday. The winners between that contest and the Salisbury/Cortland matchup will face off, as will the losers of the two games. The losers' bracket game will take place at 1:15 p.m., with the winners' game at 7:45 p.m.; both start times are eastern time.